A couple weeks ago, my mom asked my daughters and me to come put out, serve, and clean up lunch for a Mahjong tournament she was hosting. We gladly helped out – matching aprons and all! It was an honor to be serving lunch to so many amazing women. It got me thinking about the difference between wanting to cook and to clean and being expected to.
Here are the three of us in my parents’ kitchen:
I found the aprons on Amazon. Here is the link: http://a.co/5gpXM48
My husband and I both watched out parents live out very traditional roles. Both of our moms worked later in life, but stayed home when we were young. I remember being in Home Economics class – learning how to sew, how to cook, how to clean and iron. There were no boys in that class. How things have changed today!
It is freeing to not be “expected” to take these traditional roles. I enjoy cooking, but no one expects me to; and I reluctantly clean – but my husband and I have learned to have a true partnership, where we both do the things that need to get done.
Our daughters are growing up in a time when they are more free than ever to make their lives whatever they want them to be. One day I was in my own kitchen cooking bacon (because I wanted to) and as I cleaned the pan, I was struck by what a different world we live in than when I was a kid.
In seventh grade home econ., we cleaned a bacon pan by pouring soap into the hot grease, wetting paper towels, and placing them in the bottom of the pan. If you do this right after the bacon comes out, you can wait until it cools, throw the paper towels away, and clean the pan very easily, without worrying about what to do with all that grease. It is the one helpful thing I took away from my year in Home Econ. Here is a poem that was inspired by that moment as published by Mothers Always Write: